Teachers play a vital role in fostering the intellectual and social development of children during their formative years. Being an early childhood educator is exciting, challenging, tiring, invigorating, and rewarding. The role of the teacher of young children is crucial to our future generations. Becoming an early childhood educator is a journey. In this major, a robust teacher education curriculum is combined with strong liberal arts background, which will effectively prepare you to teach children in preschool through fourth grade.


The program leads to a B.A. degree and the Pennsylvania Instructional Certificate Grades PK-4. The coursework is designed to meet the PDE and national standards and to prepare students for certification in Early Childhood Education (Grades PK-4). Through in-class learning, field experiences, student teaching, and professors' mentorship, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to work with young children in a variety of educational settings. 

This teacher education program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

PK-4 Program Mission

The PK-4 Program is built on a solid foundation of the principles of child development.  It focuses on the whole child as it prepares highly-qualified, highly-effective candidates to meet the many and diverse needs of young children in a global society.


In order to declare teaching candidacy, students must satisfy the following requirements: 

  • Earn minimum of 48 credits including 6 math, 3 English composition, and 3 American/British literature credits 
  • Earn cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 
  • Pass the basic skills assessments in math, reading and writing by utilizing one of seven pathways
  • Successfully complete the background checks required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and submit required clearances 

In order to graduate, students must satisfy the University and program requirements, including 14 weeks of student teaching. Candidates for the Pennsylvania Instructional Certificate Grades PK-4 must also take a test assessing their general knowledge, professional knowledge, and subject area knowledge. Read more about teacher certification testing in Pennsylvania.


Questions? Contact:

1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269

Dr. Kathy L. McCord
Coordinator, Undergraduate Education Programs
Upland Center 212

Education Undergraduate Programs
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