Learn about the developmental needs while exploring your academic interests with a major in Early Childhood Education at Dean College.

Program Overview

The Early Childhood Education program at Dean is designed to provide you with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in the fundamentals of childcare and education for young children.

Dean College offers an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, which prepares students for certification through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) as Preschool Teacher, Lead Teacher and Infant-Toddler Teacher.

You’ll study the developmental stages of young children, developmentally appropriate teaching methodologies, adaptive curriculum planning, partnering with families and evaluation of children and programs, and more as you prepare for career opportunities with young children from infancy through age six in the mixed-delivery system outside the public schools.

You will gain valuable hands-on experience in our on-campus lab school, which reflects current research in child development and early childhood education. The student teaching experience requires a minimum of 200 hours working directly with children in an approved placement. You will work with an assigned college supervisor and an EEC licensed, site-based cooperating practitioner, increasingly taking responsibility for managing the classroom, designing learning experiences, and communicating with families and administrators. You’ll also develop a performance portfolio documenting your competencies and attend scheduled seminars.

Dean College professor working with a student

School of Liberal Arts Faculty

Gain valuable insights from our School of Liberal Arts faculty, who are here to help you every step of the way.

Requirements for Certification 

The Early Childhood program is designed specifically for EEC certification in Massachusetts and certification may not be required for this purpose in other states. The institution has not determined whether this program meets other states’ requirements for certification or professional licensure. Please go to https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/licensing or http://ceelo.org/state-map/  for more information on requirements in your state. Dean College’s Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education is available to work individually with out of state students who are considering certification to review the information from their state. For further information, please contact Joanne Hogan, Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education at 508-541-1525 or jhogan3@dean.edu. Students should verify whether this program will meet their home state’s or their intended state’s practice requirements for licensure and/or certification.

Early Childhood Education Courses

Course Number Course Title Credits
EDU 111 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
EDU 114 Infants and Toddlers: Care and Curriculum 3
EDU 130 Classroom Behavior Management 3
EDU 231 Curriculum for Young Children 3
EDU 240 Social and Emotional Learning 3
EDU 261 The Diverse Learner 3
EDU 270 Collaboration for the Child: Engaging Family and Community Connections 3
EDU 280/281 Field Observation and Participation 3
PSY 211 Child Development 3
EDU 282/283 Seminar in Early Childhood Education Practicum and Lab for Practicum in Early Childhood Education 6
EDU 285 Observation and Assessment 3
EDU 323 Language Development and Early Literacy: Birth-K 3
EDU 327 STEM Learning in Early Childhood 3
EDU 475 Student Teaching 12
EDU 495 Senior Capstone 3
DCA 100 Campus Connections: Making the Transition 1
DCA 110 Career Connections: Developing Your Brand 1
DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career 3
Total Credits 62

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition l 3
ENG 112 Composition ll 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
LAB SCIENCE ELECTIVE Core Lab Science Elective 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
PSY 111 General Psychology 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
UDLA ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 40

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELE Electives 18
Total Credits 18

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Beyond the Classroom

A student working with a child at the Children's Center Practice your skills and put your knowledge to use in the world. At Dean, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get hands-on childcare experience.

You'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a 14-hour-per-week practicum at the Dean College Children’s Center, an accredited laboratory school right on campus. Through the practicum, you'll:

  • Develop your teaching and childcare skills while working alongside the Children's Center professional instructors.
  • Plan and teach lessons.
  • Learn about behavior management, schedules and routines, problem-solving with children, observation and assessment, how to develop a curriculum based on children’s interests and what’s developmentally appropriate, and more.
  • Meet with parents to discuss their children's development.
  • Build relationships with families by participating in events such as parent orientation, parent nights and social programs.
  • Receive guidance, feedback and support from faculty members and professional instructors.

Graduates of our Early Childhood Education program can enjoy careers as preschool teachers, childcare assistant directors, educational administrators, early childhood education curriculum coordinators, child life specialists and more.

Uniquely Dean

A Dean College professor helping two Dean College students. Discover the unique programming that the Early Childhood Education program has to offer.
  • Gain hands-on experience through the completion of an on-campus practicum at the Dean College Children's Center.
  • Hear from guest speakers who visit Dean to share stories of their professional journeys, offer advice and counsel, and provide valuable networking contacts.
  • Learn firsthand from experienced faculty and professional teachers at the Children’s Center.
  • Participate in early childhood programming at the Franklin Public Library, just steps from campus.
  • Interested in teaching dance or incorporating creative movement as an educator? Learn about creative movement for children with our Dance program.

Recent Stories

Check out the news and stories below to learn more about being an Early Childhood Education major at Dean.