The Western Carolina University Birth-Kindergarten Program is designed for students who want to be a vital force in shaping children during their early years. The fully online program gives students the skills they need to meet young children's social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs in a variety of settings. Graduates work as kindergarten teachers, daycare and pre-school instructors, Head Start teachers, and childhood advocates. Ranked the program 7th on the Great Value Colleges' list of top 30 affordable online early childhood education degree programs, while Best Value Online College Rankings ranked it 14th in the nation.
The program offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in either early childhood or professional education. Taught by special education and early childhood education professionals, the program provides all students with a rigorous curriculum, plentiful resources and valuable experiences in working with young children and their families. Typically, students interested in teaching in a public school setting choose the professional education concentration, which leads to licensure, while those interested in working with children in non-public school or classroom settings choose the early childhood concentration. Both concentrations share core courses that reflect the knowledge base that all early childhood professionals should hold. Internships are a required experience for the professional education concentration students.
Graduates of WCU’s Birth-Kindergarten Program can expect to find immediate employment in a wide variety of settings. Examples of career options for early childhood concentration graduates include home-based early intervention specialist and child care resource and referral specialist. Because professional education concentration graduates are typically interested in careers as classroom teachers, they might teach in a public school kindergarten or with Head Start or N.C. More at Four Programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career field of early childhood education is expected to increase 17 percent by 2022—great news for future birth-kindergarten professionals!