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Early Childhood Education - Unified

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Administered by the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the School of Education. Leading to the degree Bachelor of Science.

The curriculum in early childhood education – unified (ECE) prepares graduates to teach young children and work with their families. This curriculum has been approved by the Iowa Department of Education and meets requirements for candidates to seek a teaching endorsement in PK-3, Inclusive Settings, which permits individuals to teach general and special education for children from birth through third grade. Graduates may be employed by either public or private agencies or schools to teach in early childhood classrooms (preschool through third grade) or in home-based programs.

Students who enroll in the early childhood education – unified program must apply to and be accepted into the teacher education program prior to enrolling in advanced courses. 

Additional information is also available from the student’s academic advisor.

Students in early childhood education – unified must meet the performance outcome standards for teacher licensure. Standards are assessed in coursework through artifacts such as assignments, projects, or practicum participation. These standards assessments are based on the early childhood content standards for endorsements 1001 and 262 in the State of Iowa. These include competencies in (1) promoting child development, learning and individual learning differences, (2) building family and community relationships, (3) observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families, (4) using developmentally and individually effective approaches to connect with children and families, (5) using content knowledge to build a meaningful curriculum, (6) professional responsibilities, and (7) early childhood field experiences. Pre-student teaching field experiences in at least three settings, and student teaching experiences in at least two different settings is required.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Early Childhood Education program will meet the following learning objectives, as defined by the InTASC standards for teacher preparation.

Standard 1: Learner Development

The student understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard 2: Learning Differences

The student uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard 3: Learning Environments

The student works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Standard 4: Content Knowledge

The student understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard 5: Application of Content

The student understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard 6: Assessment

The student understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard 7: Planning for Instruction

The student plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard 8: Instructional Strategies

The student understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard 8A: Technology

The student integrates current and emerging technology in instruction to encourage student creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and digital literacy. Teachers practice and advocate safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

Standard 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

The student engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard 10: Leadership and Collaboration

The student seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Curriculum in Early Childhood Education – Unified

Degree Requirements

121 total credits required

 Professional Education core: 15 credits

EDUC 2010Educational Technologies in the PK-6 Classroom **3
EDUC 2050Social Foundations of Education in the United States: Early Childhood and Elementary Education3
EDUC 3320Educational Psychology of Early Childhood and Elementary Education **3
EDUC 4050Social Justice Education and Teaching: Early Childhood and Elementary3
SPED 2500Education of the Exceptional Learner **3
Total Credits15

 **Must receive a "C" or above

Preprimary Inclusive: 24 credits

HDFS 2400Literature for Children **3
HDFS 3400Assessment and Curriculum: Ages Birth through 2 Years **4
HDFS 3420Social and Emotional Development and Child-centered Guidance in Early Childhood **3
HDFS 3430Assessment and Curriculum: Ages 3 through 6 Years **4
HDFS 3450Inclusive Teaching and Interaction Strategies **3
HDFS 4550Curriculum and Interventions: Ages 3 through 6 Years **4
HDFS 4560Working with Families in Early Intervention **3
Total Credits24

 **Must receive a "C" or above

Primary Inclusive: 21 credits

EDUC 2450Landscape of Teaching **3
EDUC 3770Teaching Literacy in the Primary Grades **4
EDUC 4330Teaching Social Studies in the Primary Grades **2
EDUC 4380Teaching Mathematics in the Primary Grades **2
EDUC 4390Teaching Science in the Primary Grades **2
EDUC 4680FPre-Student Teaching Experience III: Primary Grades Inclusive, Literacy **1
EDUC 4680GPre-Student Teaching Experience III: Primary Grades Inclusive, Mathematics **1
EDUC 4680IPre-Student Teaching Experience III: Primary Grades Inclusive, Science **1
SPED 4050Assessment and Instructional Methods in Inclusive Primary Settings (K-3) **4
SPED 4580Pre-Student Teaching Experience III: Mild/Moderate Disabilities in Primary Grades (K-3) **1
Total Credits21

 **Must receive a "C" or above

Student Teaching**: 16.5 credits

EDUC 4160ASupervised Student Teaching - Elementary: Primary grades (K-3)8
HDFS 4170CSupervised Student Teaching: Early Childhood Special Education Programs.8
HDFS 4180AProfessional Practice Reflection/Discussion: Teaching.5
Total Credits16.5

**Must receive a "C" or above

Orientation: 2 credits

HDFS 1100Freshman Learning Community Orientation1
or HDFS 1110 New Transfer Student Seminar
HDFS 2080Early Childhood Education Teacher Orientation1
Total Credits2

Human Development and Family Studies: 3 credits

HDFS 2240Development in Young Children: Birth through Age 8 **3
Total Credits3

Communications and Library: 10 credits

ENGL 1500Critical Thinking and Communication **3
ENGL 2500Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition **3
LIB 1600Introduction to College Level Research1
Communication course from approved general education options list3
Total Credits10

**Must receive a "C" or above

Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Health: 14 credits

MATH 1950Mathematics for Elementary Education I *3
MATH 1960Mathematics for Elementary Education II *3
HS 1050First Aid and Emergency Care2
Biological Sciences course from approved general education options list3
Physical Sciences course from approved general education options list3
Total Credits14

*Must receive a "C-" or above

Social Sciences: 9 credits

HDFS 1020Human Development3
One of the following:3
Survey of United States History I
Survey of United States History II
Introduction to American Government
Social Sciences course from approved ECE list3
Total Credits9

Humanities: 6 credits

Humanities courses from approved ECE list6
Total Credits6

Electives: .5 - 1.5 credits to equal 121 total credits

Total Credits: 121

U.S. Diversity and International Perspectives Requirement: Students in early childhood education – unified fulfill the U.S. Diversity and International Perspectives Requirements by choosing three credits of coursework from university-approved Humanities or Social Sciences included on the approved general education options list.

The courses listed in this section are approved general education course options for this major.

Communication Skills: 3 credits

COMST 2100Communication and U.S. Diversity3
COMST 2110Interpersonal Communication3
COMST 2140Professional Communication3
COMST 2180Conflict Management3
SPCM 2120Fundamentals of Public Speaking3

Natural Sciences and Mathematics:  6 credits. Coursework designed to facilitate students' understanding of the structure and behavior of the natural world, appreciate mathematics as a valuable tool of the sciences, and an intrinsically important way of thinking.

Biological Sciences: 3 credits

ANTHR 2020Human Origins3
BIOL 1010Introductory Biology3
BIOL 1550Human Biology3
BIOL 1730Environmental Biology3
BIOL 2110Principles of Biology I3
BIOL 2550Fundamentals of Human Anatomy3

Physical Sciences: 3 credits

ASTRO 1200The Sky and the Solar System3
ASTRO 1500Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology3
CHEM 1600Chemistry in Modern Society3
CHEM 1630College Chemistry ((4 credits))4
GEOL 1000How the Earth Works3
GEOL 1010Environmental Geology: Earth in Crisis3
MTEOR 2060Introduction to Weather and Climate3
PHYS 1010Physics for the Nonscientist3
PHYS 1020LPhysical Sciences for Elementary Education3

Social Sciences: 9 credits. Coursework designed to help students develop an understanding of the principal methods of studying human behavior and an understanding of the structure and functioning of institutions.

AESHM 4210Developing Global Leadership: Maximizing Human Potential3
AFAM 3300Ethnic and Race Relations3
AMD 1650Dress, Appearance, and Diversity in U.S. Society3
AMD 3620Global Dress in the Fashion System and Society3
AMD 4670Consumer Studies in Apparel and Fashion Products3
AMIN 3100Contemporary Topics in American Indian Studies3
AMIN 3150Archaeology of North America3
AMIN 3220Peoples and Cultures of Native North America3
Anthropology (ANTHR) - except 2020
Economics (ECON)
FSHN 3420World Food Issues: Past and Present3
HDFS 2390Consumer Issues3
HDFS 2490Parenting and Family Diversity Issues3
HDFS 2760Human Sexuality3
HDFS 3600Housing and Services for Families and Children3
HDFS 3670Abuse and Illness in Families3
HDFS 3770Aging and the Family3
HDFS 3950Children, Families, and Public Policy3
INTST 2350Introduction to International Studies3
LING 2190Introduction to Linguistics3
LING 4710Language and Reading Development in Children3
Political Science (POLS)
Psychology (PSYCH) - except 1310, 3320/3330
Sociology (SOC), including Criminal Justice (C J)
WGS 2010Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
WGS 2030Introduction to Lesbian Communities3
WGS 3010International Perspectives on Women and Gender3
ENVS 3200Ecofeminism3
WGS 3270Gender and Sexualities in Society3
WGS 3280Sociology of Masculinities and Manhood3
WGS 3460Psychology of Women3
AFAM 3500Women of Color in the U.S3
WGS 3850Women in Politics3

Humanities:  6 credits. Coursework designed to assist students to develop an understanding of human cultural heritage and history, and an appreciation of reasoning and the aesthetic value of human creativity.

AESHM 3420Aesthetics of Consumer Experience3
AFAM 2010Introduction to African American Studies3
AFAM 3340Africana Religions3
AFAM 3470African American Literature3
AFAM 3530History of African Americans I3
AFAM 3540History of African Americans II3
AMD 3540Euro-American Dress History: Prehistoric to Mid-19th Century3
AMD 3560Euro-American Dress History: Mid-19th Century to the Present3
AMIN 2100Introduction to American Indian Studies3
AMIN 2400Introduction to American Indian Literature3
AMIN 3460American Indian Literature3
ANTHR 2300Globalization and the Human Condition3
ANTHR 3400Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion3
ARCH 2210Histories and Theories of Architecture to 17503
ARCH 4200Topics in American Architecture3
Art History (ART H)
Classical Studies (CL ST)
DANCE 2700Dance Appreciation3
DANCE 3600History and Philosophy of Dance3
History (HIST) except 2210 or 2220
HSPM 2600Global Tourism Management3
Literature (ENGL) except 2050
MUSIC 1020Introduction to Music Listening3
MUSIC 3020Masterpieces of Music and Art in Western Culture3
MUSIC 3040History of American Rock 'n' Roll3
MUSIC 3830History of Music I3
MUSIC 3840History of Music II3
Philosophy (PHIL)
Religious Studies (RELIG)
THTRE 1060Introduction to the Performing Arts3
THTRE 1100Theatre and Society3
THTRE 4650Theatre History: Ancient to 19th Century3
THTRE 4660Theatre History: 19th Century to Present3
USLS 2110Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Studies3
WGS 2010Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
WGS 3360Religion, Sex and Gender3
WGS 3380Feminist Philosophy3
WGS 3450Women's Literature3
WGS 3700 Studies in English Translation
WGS 3740Sex, Gender, and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean World3
WGS 3860History of Women in America3
World Languages and Cultures (ARABC, CHIN, FRNCH, GER, GREEK, RUS, SPAN)

Early Childhood Education - Unified, B.S.

HDFS 10203HDFS 2080Required
HDFS 1100 or 11101Humanities Option*3
LIB 16001HIST 2210 or 22203
EDUC 20503MATH 19503
ENGL 15003SPED 25003
Humanities Option*3Social Sciences Option*3
PSYCH 1310 (recommended elective)1 
 15 15
MATH 19603EDUC 24503
ENGL 25003EDUC 33203
EDUC 20103HDFS 22403
Physical Sciences Option*3Biological Sciences Option*3
HDFS 24003Communication Option*3
 Apply to Educator Preparation program 
 15 15
EDUC 3770B4EDUC 4330B2
EDUC 4380B2EDUC 4390B2
EDUC 4680FB1EDUC 4680IB1
EDUC 4680GB1SPED 4050B4
HDFS 34004SPED 4580B1
HDFS 34503HDFS 34203
Finalize Degree Audit HDFS 34304
 15 17
HDFS 45504EDUC 4160AB8
HDFS 45603HDFS 4170CB8
EDUC 40503HDFS 4180A.5
HS 10502 
Electives, if needed to equal 121 total credits.5-3 
Take Praxis II prior to Licensing  
Apply to graduate  
Apply to student teaching  
 12.5-15 16.5

This sheet provides a guide to the sequence of HDFS and EDUC courses; courses adhere to a prescribed sequence of semesters. Your academic advisor will help you develop an individual long-range plan.


Block of courses listed together in the semester must be taken concurrently as sequenced


See approved general education options list of courses for courses in Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences


ISU requires a 3 credit U.S. Diversity course (satisfied by HDFS 2400) and a 3 credit international perspective course (usually met through a University approved humanities or social science options from the approved general education options list).