Early Childhood Major

The Early Childhood Education Prek-4 certification program at Carlow University focuses on educating children from birth to grade four in any context-preschool, elementary school, child care center, family, or community. The program is rooted in Carlow's core mercy values and serves as ethical leadership in a diverse and dynamic educational landscape. Students learn how to honor diversity and form strong inclusive relationships between child and caregiver/teacher. They learn that a child's environment needs to be rooted in trust; physically and psychologically safe. They learn that the caregiver/teacher relationship needs to be collaborative and characterized by advocacy for the child. Principles of child development and constructivist approaches to learning ground the program along with the belief that strong relationships among the child, family, and community form a healthful child who has the necessary foundation to succeed in a 21st century and beyond. The program is grounded in the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice, ethical behavior, and professionalism. Competencies for early childhood education are based on current research, Pennsylvania Department of Education's requirements, child development theory, NAEYC standards and guidelines, and the pedagogy of relationship. This is a program for teachers and caregivers who strive to make the world a better place for children and families.

Education events
View upcoming events, trainings and workshops.  

  • Only Pennsylvania university to be a CREATE lab satellite. This is a specialized network of professionals committed to "Empower a technologically fluent generation through experiential learning opportunities." Early childhood students learn visual programming through Arts & Bots, explore logical thinking and circuitry through Circuit Blocks, and get the 'big picture' through GigaPan photography
  • Service learning opportunity working with children experiencing homelessness
  • Collaborative relationship with the Early Learning Center (Infants and Toddlers) and the Campus School (traditional preschool, Montessori preschool, K - 8) right on campus
  • Practicum experiences in the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library, Children's Museum, NAEYC accredited centers, and school districts in Allegheny County
  • You become part of a unique learning community in our program committed to a just and merciful world
  • Early childhood students explore developmentally and responsible ways to integrate technology into the classroom (iPads, virtual and augmented reality apps, Google Cardboard, interactive projectors, etc)
  • Participates in PA TRAC transfer program
  • Participates in direct reimbursement of Rising STARS tuition reimbursement program

Carlow University is a T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship School, the only private school in the region to earn this distinction. T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA is an umbrella for several different scholarship programs to help child care professionals complete course work toward a degree or credential in early childhood education and increase their compensation.

T.E.A.C.H. is administered by the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) in Pennsylvania. For more information on eligibility criteria, scholarship types and supports or to download an application, visit PACCA’s website. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA is a licensed program of Child Care Services Association.

Where Our Graduates Go

This is just a sample of where recent graduates have been hired:

  • A Child's World Daycare
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Carriage House Children's Center
  • Kent School District
  • West Jefferson School District
  • Tender Care


IMPORTANT NOTE FOR ALL CERTIFICATION STUDENTS: At the end sophomore year, students must officially apply to the department of education through their advisor. In order to apply, students must have 48 credits, have at least a 3.0 GPA; successfully passed SKW 101, SKQ 101, a math course, and a literature course; AND students must also pass the PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment) or the CORE ETS Fundamental Skills Tests in reading, writing, and math.  


  • Score a 4 or higher on both PDE 430 evaluation forms
  • Pass the PECT PreK-4 exam
  • Apply for certification at the following website:

TIMS Website: http://www.education.pa.gov/Teachers%20-%20Administrators/Certifications/Pages/default.aspx#.VwKzUfkrK72  

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Locations: Main Oakland Campus


EC 313: Family and Community Partnerships

You will focus on recognizing and implementing partnership relationships among the child, the family, and the community. Family is a primary unit of a diverse and unique nature. You will examine family systems to understand structure and function. Likewise, family is viewed in its role in a child’s development. You will look at the family and community using strategies for meeting cross-cultural needs.

EC 403: Understanding Early Childhood Curriculum for Peace and Justice

Based on principles of child development, this course is designed to engage teacher candidates in various experiences that provide opportunities for understanding early childhood curriculum in its complex and multiple facets. The focus on peace and justice teaching emphasizes the importance of developing attitudes and behaviors that can contribute to building a democratic, ecologically responsible society. This includes encouraging early childhood educators to nurture dispositions in young children towards collaboration, curiosity, engaged inquiry, ecological consciousness, fairness, and empathy. Teacher candidates will have opportunities to explore the philosophical, theoretical, and practical dimensions of the PreK through grade four curricula.

note: this is just a small sample of the variety of classes you'll be taking. for more details about these classes and more, please visit the Course Catalog section of our website.