Early Development and Learning

The Early Development and Learning program is a non-certification program that students can complete if they are looking to work with young children in a context outside of a traditional elementary classroom such as: infant, toddler, or preschool lead teacher, provider of early childhood professional development, advance in a Head Start classroom, work in family support centers, hospital settings, museum work, children's programming, early intervention services, social work, homeless programming, or lead teacher in a Keystone Stars childcare center. Students might also choose this major if they are planning to complete a master's program in early childhood education with certification.

The program uses the NAEYC guidelines for ethical behavior to demonstrate professionalism. Competencies for early childhood education are based on current research and child development theory, NAEYC standards and guidelines, and the pedagogy of relationship.

Education events
View upcoming events, trainings and workshops.

Your Future

As a graduate of the Early Development and Learning Program you will: 

  • Develop pedagogical wisdom and contextual literacy as they apply their understanding of young children’s development, motivation, characteristics, and influences on children’s development and learning to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supporting, and challenging of young child. 
  • Develop into ethical stewards who know and understand diverse family and community characteristics; support, engage, and involve families and communities though respectful relationships to support children’s development and learning. 
  • Be able to effectively and appropriately use a variety of assessment tools (including observation, informal, summative, formative, diagnostic, and benchmark) to plan appropriate curriculum for young learners based on a deep level of theoretical understanding.
  • Develop a theoretical understanding of early learning standards, common core, and child development to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful and challenging curricula for each child. Demonstrate qualities of reflective scholar practitioners who engage in a variety of communities of practice to become informed and ethical advocates and leaders in the field of education.
  • Create high performance learning environments for diverse student populations (which include children with disabilities, English language learners, children in poverty, etc.) through aesthetic expression and imagination.

Where Our Graduates Go

This is a small sample of institutions and companies that have employed Carlow University graduates recently.

  • The Children's Center of Pittsburgh
  • The Watson Institute
  • Head Start of Fayette County
  • Kindercare
  • Woodland Hills School District


Carlow University graduate Chelsea Schreiner sits by the waterfall
Chelsea Schreiner, '12, Early Childhood and Special Education graduate. Read her story





Fall (15 credits)
CTC-101 Connecting to Carlow (1 credit)
SKW-101 Foundations of Writing (3 credits)
SKW-100 Writing Lab (1 credit)
SKQ-101 Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits)
SKQ-100 QR Lab (1 credit)
PY 101 Introduction to Psychology (Natural World Requirement) (3 credits)
CE Critical Exploration Course (Expression, Wisdom, or Social Justice) (3 credits)

Spring (16 credits)
SKC-101 Effective Communication (3 credits)
SKC-100 EC Lab (1 credit) (3 credits)
ED 200 Pre-Assessment Center (3 credits)
EC 200 Child Development Birth - 5 (3 credits)
CA Contemplation & Action Course (Expression, Wisdom, or Social Justice) (3 credits)
Core Course (In Development) (3 credits)


Fall (15 credits)
SPED 230 Foundations of Special Ed (3 credits)
EC 201 Orientation to ECE (3 credits)
EN Literature Course (3 credits)
EC 206 Child Development 6 - 9 (3 credits)
Core Course (In Development) (3 credits)

Spring (15 credits)
EC 207 Play as Learning (3 credits)
EC 318 Communication Dev & Literacy (3 credits)
EC 311 Infant Toddler Program & Pract (3 credits)
Core Course (In Development) (3 credits)
Core Course (In Development) (3 credits)


Fall (18 credits)
ED 305 Integrating the Arts Jr Anchor Course (3 credits)
OR SPED 360 Arts for Special Populations
EC 307 Curr & Methods in ECE & Prac (3 credits)
EC 303 Math for the Developing Child (3 credits)
ED 307 Teaching ELL (3 credits)
ED 312 Reading & Language Arts (3 credits)
Compass Course (if needed) (3 credits)

Spring (16 credits)
EC 313 Family & Community Partnerships (3 credits)
PY 440 Child Abuse Prevention
Compass Course (3 credits)
EC 304 Science for the Dev Child (3 credits)
SPED 450 Early Intervention & Inclusion (3 credits)
Compass Course – Depth Experience (3 credits)
ED 370 Supports for Prof Growth & Dev (1 credit)


Fall (16 credits)
Ed or Psych Elective (3 credits)
Independent Study (3 credits)
Ed or Psych Elective (3 credits)
Elective: Education Lab (1 credit)
EC 401SL Professional Comm of Practice (3 credits)

Spring (12 credits)
EC 410 Senior Capstone (3-12 credits)

120 Credits Required to Graduate

note: A grade of a C or higher must be obtained in all major courses (ED or EC). A grade of a C- or lower will necessitate retaking the course.