Early childhood educators play a vital role in fostering children's intellectual and social development during their formative years. The program Early Childhood Education (ECE) B.A. with Grades PK-4 Certification prepares teachers for preschool through Grade 4 in public and private educational institutions. 

The program with evening classes for adults is offered on the Pottsville campus. The program with daytime classes is offered on the Reading campus.

The program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate in Grades PK-4. Students may expand their certification to the middle-school level by taking an additional certification exam. This teacher preparation program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

Experience a synergy of engaging student learning environment, diverse field experiences, enriching student teaching, and inspiring mentorship by education professors and cooperating teachers. 



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.


81 credits

Required General Education Courses

  • MAT 105, Math for Teachers: Principles of Mathematics
  • MAT 106, Math for Teachers: Geometry
  • MAT 208, Probability & Statistics
  • HIS XXX (any History course)
  • BIO 102, Fundamentals of Biology or BIO 109, Human Biology
  • PSY 101, Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 312, Psychology of Play

Note: The University requirements are met as follows: Exploring the Natural World (6 cr.) - MAT 105, BIO 102/109; Individuals & Communities (3 cr.) - PSY 101; Human Diversity (3 cr.) - SPE 110. Other general education courses may vary depending on a selected path of knowledge.

Professional Education Courses

Year 1

  • SPE 110, Overview of Human Exceptionalities
  • ED 110, The Teaching Profession

Year 2

  • ED 204, Human Learning
  • ED 209, Instructional Planning (pre-reqs.: ED 110, ED 204)

Year 3

  • ED 313, Classroom Management & Professional Ethics (pre-req.: ED 209)
  • ED 320, Assessment & Evaluation
  • ED 315, Foundations of Literacy Development
  • ED 302, Literacy Instruction (pre-req.: SPE 315)
  • ED 370, Teaching English Language Learners (pre-req.: ED 209)
  • ED 445, Universal Design for Learning & Digital Technologies (pre-reqs.: ED 209, SPE 110)
  • ED 425, Curriculum & Instruction in PK-12

Year 4

  • ED 403, Reading Methods for Elementary Inclusive Classrooms
  • ED 404, Teaching Math in the Elementary School
  • ED 414, Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
  • ED 440, Teaching Science in the Elementary School
  • ED 436, Field Experience III (150-hour pre-student teaching)

(These fall semester courses are co-requisites.) 

  • ED 470, Student Teaching (14 weeks, 2 placements)
  • ED 472, Student Teaching Seminar

(These spring semester courses are co-requisites.)


  • The University requirements are met as follows: Writing Enhanced - ED 110; Senior Capstone - ED 470 & ED 472.
  • During senior year, students take a certification exam

Academic Performance

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA 3.0 or better
  • Earn Grade C or better in the required general education and professional education courses

Field Experience

Maintain regulatory compliance for the educators' field experiences including: 

Read about the requirements for education field experiences. 

Teacher Candidacy

Teacher candidacy signifies a formal admission to the teacher preparation program. Achieving a teacher candidacy status is required for taking the upper division education courses, pre-student teaching, and student teaching. Students must apply by the end of their sophomore year. Mid-degree transfer students must apply by the second semester of their studies at Alvernia University. The achieve a teacher candidacy status, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Earn minimum of 48 credits including 6 credits of math, 3 - English composition, and 3 - American/British literature with earned Grade C or better 
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA 3.0 or better
  • Maintain regulatory compliance for the educators' field experiences
  • Apply for teacher candidacy and receive an approval from their education faculty advisor and the Education Department Chair

Student Teaching

Student teaching occurs during the last semester in the program and includes two 7-week placements in PK-4 classrooms. To be admitted to student teaching, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete the required general core and professional education courses except ED 470 & ED 472 with Grade C or better
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA 3.0 or better
  • Maintain regulatory compliance for the educators' field experiences

Read about: 

Questions? Contact:

1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269

Education Programs

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Alvernia is one of three universities in Pennsylvania and 23% nationwide that earned an “A” for preparing students to teach reading in latest report of the National Council on Teacher Quality.