Early Childhood Education


The Child and Youth Development Major can be completed in 18 months and includes courses such as:

Click here to see Course Descriptions.

Certification to teach requires an additional full-time semester of student teaching, for a total of 23 months.

Students must also complete the college’s general education requirements, but often these have been completed in a student’s prior coursework.

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 the College Catalog (see page 36). 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 a minimum of 128 semester hours (of which a minimum of 45 must be completed at Milligan) are required for graduation.

  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 2.5 (4.0 scale) on all Milligan coursework.

  4. Successful completion of the general education requirements (click here for a helpful chart).

  5. Successful completion of the PRAXIS tests in early childhood development (considered the student's major field test). Click here for more information and details about the PRAXIS test.

We are happy to review your transcript and provide a degree plan. Call us at 423.461.8782 or email ECE@milligan.edu.

Course Descriptions

Courses in Early Childhood Education Core and Emphasis

EDUC 150 and 150B. Introduction to Education - An orientation to the education profession from the perspective of the teacher. The readings and discussions are designed to be an introduction to the current knowledge base related to teaching. Emphasis is given to the characteristics of the caring and reflective teacher. Students will begin a teacher education portfolio in this class. A beginning school- and community-based practicum with related seminars is the focus of the course. EDUC 150 offered every term; EDUC 150B offered first term. Two semester hours.

EDUC 231 and 231B. Psychology and Education of Exceptional Students - A study of the education of exceptional students and the psychological aspects of exceptionalities. Includes discussion of assessment, family participation, IFSPs/IEPs, service delivery models, general curriculum, and intervention strategies. Includes observation and participation in classrooms with students with special needs. EDUC 231 offered fall term; EDUC 231B offered fourth term. Three semester hours.

EDUC 233 and 233B. Child Guidance - A study of skills and techniques for promoting positive behaviors in children birth through elementary age. Students learn how to manage routine situations related to care and education of children in a variety of professional settings from child development centers to elementary schools including the study of different approaches to classroom management. Field experience included. EDUC 233 offered fall term; EDUC 233B offered third term. Two semester hours.

EDUC 355 and 355B. Literacy Development - A study of how language with all its components develops and is nurtured to maturity. Emphasis is given to what brain research and learning research explain about learning, the language arts of listening, speaking, writing, spelling, reading, and thinking. Focus is on learning to use current methods and balanced strategies for assessing and teaching language and reading in the primary grades. Extensive field experience included. Field experience included. EDUC 355 offered fall term each year; EDUC 355B offered second term. Three semester hours.

EDUC 403 and 403B. Parent Education and Involvement – A study to prepare future educators for their role as partners with parents in the education of their children. In addition to learning how to implement school-based strategies, the students will learn how to conduct parent education and involvement activities in community settings and to offer programs for special groups of parents including new parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, parents experiencing divorce and other forms of family destabilization, and parents serving as teachers in home-based early childhood settings. EDUC 403 and 403B offered once a year. Three semester hours.

EDUC 406B. Early Childhood and Elementary Curriculum and Methods - A study of the educational needs of students in the cognitive realms of scientific, social, mathematical, and language learning. The focus is on planning and implementing a learning environment that provides hands-on discovery learning where the student is an active participant and decision-maker. Emphasis is given to the integration of the content areas, especially math, science, social studies, and the language arts. Field experience included. Offered third term. Four semester hours.

EDUC 440 and 440B. Creative Activities for Children - A study of the role of creativity in the education of children and pre-adolescents. The course includes experience in planning and conducting appropriate art, music, movement, and creative drama activities for children birth through 14 years of age. Field experience included. EDUC 440 offered spring term each year; EDUC 440B offered third term. Three semester hours.

EDUC 443 and 443B. Practicum - A supervised experience lasting for one semester or less in a program for children ages birth through seventeen. For child and youth development majors who are not seeking professional teaching licensure. EDUC 443 offered on demand; EDUC 443B offered fourth term. Three to six semester hours.

ENGL 354B. Children’s Literature - A study of children’s literature designed to acquaint the student with the literary contributions suitable for elementary grades. Not applicable towards an English major. Offered second term. Three semester hours.

PSYC 280B. Media Effects on Children and Adolescents - A seminar course in media literacy with an emphasis on the psychological, social, and educational effects on children and adolescents. The course includes discussion of the evolving nature of media and laws governing them. Such media include television, movies, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, music, and interactive video games. Discussion and assignments focus on the relative impact of these media on things such as body image, drug and alcohol use, sexuality, sociability, morality, and cognitive development. An emphasis is placed on becoming a media literacy advocate within one’s own family, school, and community. Offered second term. Three semester hours.

PSYC 356B. Cross-Cultural Psychology - An examination of culture’s influence on behavior and thought. Students are expected to develop an understanding of cultural diversity from a psychological perspective. Students participate in a cultural--learning experience throughout the term.   The course includes exploration of cross-cultural perspectives on cognitive, intelligence, health, emotions, communication, human development, personality, psychological disorders, and social behavior. This course fulfills the ethnic studies course requirement in the general education core. Offered fourth term. Three semester hours.

SOCL 303B. Family - A study of the social significance of the modern American family viewed in the perspective of its cultural heritage. Available to juniors and seniors. Offered every term. Three semester hours.

Additional Course Requirements for PreK-3 Licensure

BIOL 350B. Teaching Science to K-6 Students - A course focusing upon the understanding of scientific principles and the teaching of science to K-6 students. Prerequisite BIOL 110 and PHYS 104 or the equivalent and admission to the teacher education program. Field experience included. Offered fifth term. Two semester hours.

EDUC 152 and 152B. Technology in Education - Applications of technology for use in the PreK-12 classroom and for the teacher’s record keeping and research. EDUC 152 offered every term; EDUC 152B offered first term. One semester hour.

EDUC 301 and 301B. Introduction to Early Childhood and Elementary Education - An overview of the education of children from birth through 12 years of age. History of the field, professional resources, educational models and theories, importance of working with families and appreciating diversity, and basics of developing curriculum. Field experience included. EDUC 301 offered spring term each year; EDUC 301B offered first term. Three semester hours.

EDUC 356 and 356B. Reading Processes with Assessment and Intervention - A study of the diagnosis of reading skills and the objectives, methods, and materials for the correction of reading difficulties. Direct contact with children in tutorial and small group teaching situations is included. Enrollment limited to students admitted to the professional level of the teacher education program. Field experience included. EDUC 356 offered spring term each year; EDUC 356B offered second term. Three semester hours.

EDUC 452 and 452B. Student Teaching: Early Childhood - An experience in lesson planning, instruction, and assessment, grades PreK-3. An extensive orientation prepares the student for student teaching experience (fifteen weeks) that includes the refinement of planning, instruction, and assessment skills in the classroom setting. Approval to student teach required. Concurrent enrollment in EDUC 460/460B Capstone Seminar required. EDUC 452 offered every term for twelve semester hours; EDUC 452B offered fifth term for three, six, or twelve semester hours.

EDUC 460 and 460B. Capstone Seminar - A capstone seminar designed to promote reflection, in-depth discussion, and collaborative action research. Designed to integrate all elements of the program, document program outcomes in the candidate portfolio, and verify program completion. Also includes topical presentations by Milligan and partner school faculty. Enrollment is limited to students admitted to the professional level of the teacher education program and approved to student teach. Co-requisite with student teaching. EDUC 460 offered every term; EDUC 460B offered fifth term. One semester hour.

EDUC 475 and 475B. Early Childhood Administration - A study of the philosophy, organization, and components of developmentally appropriate early childhood programs. Administration, environmental aspects, staff development, and financial management of programs are examined. EDUC 475 offered fall term each year; EDUC 475B offered fourth term. Two semester hours.

HIST 209. United States History Survey I - A study of the history of the United States from the European encounter to the War Between the States. The course examines the growth of political institutions and the social and economic life of the people of the United States. Prerequisite:  Humanities 101 and 102, or consent of instructor.  Offered fall term each year. Three semester hours.

HPXS 440B. Health and Physical Education Methods - Reading, discussion, and application of fitness and health concerns of children. Kindergarten through Grade Eight. The course includes instruction and practice related to physical activity and rhythmical activities. Emphasis is on integration of health and physical education topics and activities into the school curriculum, grades K-8. Not for Human Performance and Exercise Science majors. Offered fourth term. Two semester hours.

MATH 253.  Fundamental Concepts II - A continuation of the study of the real number system. Topics include rational and real numbers; statistics; probability; measurement; geometry; and algebra. Some teaching strategies and methods will be presented. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in MATH 153. Not applicable to a math major or minor. Offered fall term each year. Three semester hours.