Education Major

Early Childhood Education Concentration

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) concentration leading to a Bachelor’s Degree is designed to prepare individuals to work in a variety of early education settings. Students may pursue a career in public school teaching through the Early Childhood licensure (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Teaching License Early Childhood Initial Teacher of Students Pre-K through Grade 2 with and without Disabilities) and/or a career in preschool or child care teaching through the Preschool Lead Teacher Credential (Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care). 

All students in ECE complete a primary major in Education with a secondary major in a Liberal Arts, Social Sciences or Science field. Students apply to ECE upon completion of the prerequisites generally in the spring of their sophomore year. Advising for pre-majors is available through the Undergraduate Advising & Educator Licensure Office ( or 413-545-2701).


Students apply by February 15 of their sophomore year. Completion of HUMDEV 270, Math 113, and Math 114 (with a minimum grade of B in all prerequisite courses), passing scores on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and a minimum GPA of 3.0 are required to apply. Criteria for admission include cumulative GPA, completion of prerequisites and strength of the personal statement. Students interested in the Education major should seek advising through the Undergraduate Advising & Educator Licensure Office ( or 413-545-2701) in their freshman year. Application materials are available through this office.

Highlights/Points of Pride

The Early Childhood Program is aligned with the teacher competencies and standards recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Students in this major engage in a rigorous academic program and a carefully sequenced series of field experiences in multiple settings serving children with diverse needs from birth through second grade. 

Required Courses

Level I Core Courses (Junior Year)

Courses Credits
EDUC 393M Introduction to Early Childhood 3
EDUC 282A ECE Pre-practicum (students must register for this pre-practicum with EDUC 393M) 1
EDUC 325 Introduction to Special Education 3
EDUC 461 Principles and Teaching Reading and the Language Arts 3
EDUC 482E Education Pre-Practicum (students must register for this pre-practicum with EDUC 461) 2
EDUC 463 Principles/Methods of Teaching Mathematics PreK - 6th grade 3
EDUC 370 Junior Year Writing (currently offered spring only) 3
EDUC 503 Sheltered English Immersion 3
Total over both semesters 21

Level 2 Clinical Courses and Field Experiences (Senior Year)

Courses Credits
Fall Semester  
EDUC 490A ECE Planning and Assessment 3
EDUC 598A ECE Practicum I (students must register for this practicum with EDUC 490A) 3
EDUC 491D Seminar Early Childhood Education (students must register for this seminar with EDUC 598. 1
Total 7
Spring Semester  
EDUC 301 Young Children in Families and Schools 3
*EDUC 500Y Student Teaching ECE PreK-2nd or EDUC 598B ECE B – 5y Practicum 6

EDUC 491D Seminar in Early Childhood Education (students must register for this seminar with either EDUC 598B or EDUC 500Y)

EDUC 494EI The Professional Early Childhood Teacher (Integrative Experience) 3
Total 13


*Students seeking MA DESE ECE licensure may not register for EDUC 500Y until they have passed the Early Childhood and Foundations of Reading MTEL. Students seeking DEEC Lead Teacher Certification (Infant/Toddler or Preschool) should enroll in EDUC 598B.

Contact Information

Please contact the Undergraduate Advising & Educator Licensure Office at or 413-545-2701 for more information on the Education major.

Concentration Coordinator:  Sally Galman (Associate Professor)

Associated Faculty

Camille Cammack (Lecturer), Darrell Earnest (Assistant Professor), Portia Elliott (Professor Emerita), Sally Galman (Associate Professor), Claire E. Hamilton (Associate Professor), Raymond Sharick (Lecturer), Ernest D. Washington (Professor), Seon Jeong Yu (Assistant Professor)