Child and Youth Development
(Early Childhood Education)
Adult Degree Completion Program

Area of Education

Updated Fall 2013

Milligan College offers an adult degree completion program with a major in child and youth development with an early childhood education emphasis. Licensure in early childhood education (PreK-3) may be obtained by completing additional course work. This program prepares individuals to teach children 0 through 8 years of age in public and private schools and to serve in leadership positions in church-related preschools, military child development centers, and in other early childhood programs. This major is designed for adults who have completed fifty-two or more semester hours of college credit and the equivalent of two or more years of work experience. Degree candidates must also complete the college’s general education core of humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and Bible as well as an appropriate number of elective courses. Inquiries are addressed to the Teacher Education Admissions Coordinator at 423.461.8306 or Area of Education at 423.461.8927.

The adult degree completion program in early childhood education supports the following goals of Milligan College:

Graduates who complete the child and youth development major with early childhood education emphasis are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the growth and development of young children.
  2. Demonstrate the teaching skills required to promote development and learning in young children.
  3. Exhibit the leadership and management skills necessary to plan and implement a comprehensive program for children and youth.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of written and oral communication skills sufficient to communicate effectively with students, parents, other professionals, and the general public. Those completing licensure are also expected to
  5. Demonstrate the competencies required by the State of Tennessee to achieve a provisional teaching license and
  6. Successfully complete all of the Praxis tests required by the State of Tennessee for a provisional teaching license.

The senior exit exam for the Child and Youth Development major is the Praxis II for licensure-seeking students or a faculty-created exam for non-licensure-seeking students.

Child and Youth Development with Early Childhood Education Emphasis – B.A. or B.S.
(35 hours; 64 hours with licensure)

General Education Requirements (47-59 hrs)

Required courses in the major (14 unduplicated hours)

Non-licensure emphasis

Early Childhood Education (non-licensure) (18-19 hrs)

Licensure emphasis

(Requires admission to the professional level of teacher education)

The coursework below is in addition to General Education Requirements and Core listed above.

Emphasis Early Childhood Education with PreK-3 Licensure (42 hrs)

Verification of CPR and/or first aid competency that is current is required for student teaching

*If not completing licensure, alternatives may be considered to this course.

** Only 3 hours required if completing licensure

*** 15-weeks of supervised experience in a public school setting

Completing the major without licensure takes approximately 18 months. Completing the major with licensure takes approximately 22 months, depending on the outstanding degree requirements. Therefore, the time necessary to complete the degree can be better identified after the degree plan is filed (prior to admission into the major).


Teacher candidates complete supervised field experiences and student teaching in public partner schools in nearby communities. During the final term, candidates complete a full-time student teaching experience and participate in a series of associated capstone seminars especially designed to provide opportunities to reflect on relationships between theory and practical experiences in education.

Candidates will also develop and maintain a portfolio throughout the program to document emerging professional competencies. Final assessment of program outcomes (as reflected in the portfolio, the student teaching experience, and minimum scores on all Praxis II subtests required for the license sought) is a critical component of the capstone seminar.

A passing grade in the capstone seminar reflects program completion and will not be awarded until all program outcomes including passing all required Praxis II exams are fully met. Early completion of all Praxis II subtests is strongly recommended to ensure completion of this course as well as the receipt of all credentials including one’s academic transcript demonstrating program completion for submission to state regulatory agencies for licensure.

Teacher candidates should anticipate various fees related to state licensure requirements. Fees will be incurred for completion of the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) and the Praxis II, for purchase of liability insurance, for verification of CPR and/or first aid proficiency, and any other licensure requirements mandated by the State of Tennessee. Milligan College is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education for teacher education and is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Successful completion of this program leads to Tennessee licensure. Meeting all Tennessee licensure requirements is mandatory, even for those who intend to move to other states for employment. Through state reciprocal licensure agreements, some Milligan graduates also attain licensure in other states.

Accreditation by NCATE ensures that a teacher education degree from Milligan is instantly recognized in Tennessee and the nation for its quality. Milligan College is one of only approximately 600 NCATE institutions nationally. Research has shown that graduates from NCATE institutions significantly outperform those from non-NCATE institutions on National Teacher Examinations. Milligan’s commitment to meet NCATE standards means that each graduate of teacher education programs gains the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for success as a professional educator.


Teacher candidates are required to develop a portfolio documenting their mastery of applicable Milligan College program outcomes. Portfolios are organized around outcome statements based upon Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards and must be submitted during the student teaching semester. Initial and continuing full admission status is contingent upon periodic review of developing portfolios.

Fall semester student teachers must submit portfolios for final review by the last Monday in November; spring semester student teachers must submit portfolios by the last Monday in April. Students failing to meet these deadlines will receive a grade of “Incomplete” in EDUC 460B Capstone Seminar. This grade of “Incomplete” will delay graduation, program completion, and recommendation for licensure.

Student Teaching

Approval to student teach is granted only to teacher candidates who have been fully admitted to the professional level of the teacher education program and who maintain eligibility at that level. In addition to meeting established minimum grade point averages and Tennessee-approved PPST scores, approval to student teach requires:

  1. A minimum overall 2.5 grade point average;
  2. A minimum grade of C-minus in all courses in the academic major;
  3. A passing score on the content Praxis exam(s);
  4. A minimum grade of C-minus in all required teacher education courses in the program of study;
  5. Liability insurance;
  6. Verification of CPR and/or first aid proficiency;
  7. Submission of a TBI background check indicating no areas of concern;
  8. Documentation of emerging teaching competencies in a portfolio;
  9. Positive review by the Admission and Retention Committee based on:
    1. positive disposition ratings from prior mentors and supervisors
    2. demonstrated competence in lesson plan development
    3. demonstrated ability to interact effectively with students in classroom settings
  10. An application turned in to CASE no later than midterm of the semester before student teaching would begin

The candidate should expect to take no more than thirteen hours of credit (twelve hours of student teaching and one hour of the capstone seminar) during the student teaching semester. Employment and other substantial extracurricular activities during the student teaching semester are strongly discouraged. As a part of the student teaching approval process, the director of teacher certification will determine that all prerequisite course work is completed and that any course work remaining to complete the Milligan College ADCP program may reasonably be completed in one remaining term. Prerequisite course work includes all professional level education courses and all courses in the academic major.

Student teaching is an experience in instruction, assessment, and classroom management in an assigned partner school, combined with initial orientation classes and periodic evening workshops and seminars. Student teacher experience placements will be made with partner school systems located in the surrounding area to maintain proper supervision levels and the integrity of the teacher education program. The student teaching assignment typically involves experience at two grade levels during the fifteen-week period. During the student teaching semester, candidates observe the schedule of the assigned partner school including beginning student teaching when the assigned school system begins the term instead of following the Milligan College schedule. Absences for reasons other than documented illness or family emergency are strongly discouraged. Excessive absences may result in an extension of the student teaching experience after completion of the Milligan College semester. Successful completion of student teaching is a condition of graduation from Milligan College with recommendation for licensure.

Praxis II

Candidates completing the ADCP with licensure program are required to take the Praxis II test “Principles of Learning and Teaching” and appropriate Specialty Area Tests. Tennessee publishes a list of the required Specialty Area Tests and passing scores for each licensure area. This list is available in the Center for Assistance to Students in Education (CASE) or online at ETS. Graduation does not guarantee licensure. Any teacher candidate who fails to meet passing Tennessee scores on all required Praxis II tests and subtests is not a program completer and cannot be recommended by Milligan College for licensure.

Center for Assistance to Students in Education (CASE)

The Center for Assistance to Students in Education (CASE) provides coordinated assistance and support to students seeking professional teacher licensure at Milligan College. Located in the Teacher Education Curriculum Center, CASE attends to several critical functions throughout the various undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs of study. Accountability checkpoints have been established from initial contact with potential teacher candidates through post-graduation and post-licensure follow-up contacts. Academic advisement, field placements, mentoring, performance assessment and portfolio development, completion of graduation and licensure requirements, assistance with induction into initial employment and if necessary, tutoring and counseling are coordinated by and through CASE.

Degree Requirements

The student who completes the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in child and youth development with early childhood education emphasis must meet general education requirements (GER) as outlined in this section of the catalog. Additional general education courses are required for students seeking licensure. Students are not required to complete a minor; elective hours can constitute the balance of the degree. The degree requirements are as follows:

  1. Successful completion of 128 semester hours, a minimum of 45 from Milligan College
  2. Successful completion at Milligan College of the child and youth development major (with early childhood education emphasis)
  3. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on all work (4.0 scale) or a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 if the student plans to student teach
  4. Successful completion of the general education requirements
  5. Successful completion of an electronic portfolio


Degree candidates are encouraged to participate in commencement ceremonies; ceremonies are conducted in May and December each year. Candidates for a degree are identified through their completion of the “Intent to Graduate” form. Degree candidates must have met all degree requirements and the student’s account must be paid in full prior to commencement. Arrangements must be completed as early as possible through the Registrar’s Office, the Office for Graduate and Professional Studies, and the Business Office.