Students will have the opportunity to pursue a fully online degree in Early Childhood through Biola University’s School of Education starting in January 2021. The School of Education recognized a need for an early development program due to the rising emphasis on early childhood development at the state and federal level. The School of Education has largely focused on preparing K-12 teachers, however, a need for early childhood development education became apparent.
“These early childhood degrees fill a gap in our School of Education's offering and in the market need,” said Dr. June Hetzel, dean of Biola’s School of Education and interim Early Childhood director. “The State of California is pouring thousands of dollars into early childhood education and our Biola students can make a difference by being the light of Christ in the early childhood classroom.”
Though Biola has five levels of Early Childhood permit offerings, this will be Biola’s first full degree offering in early childhood education. The new program equips future educators to teach students at the critical developmental ages of 0-8. This degree can be completed in as little as 24 months through asynchronous seven week courses and can be done at a pace students find most convenient.
Although the degree is fully online, students will be required to complete a total of 157 fieldwork hours, with 82 hours dedicated to fieldwork and 75 hours dedicated to the early childhood practicum. Students who already work in preschools will potentially be able to use their hours of employment toward fieldwork requirements.
“The emphasis on early childhood at the state and federal level compelled us to enter into this space and equip educators to be leaders in early childhood,” said Hetzel. “While the degree has a wide range of applications in the field, the student will be equipped to not only teach in but develop and administer early childhood care and education programs.”
The required Biola courses will focus on training related to dual language, spiritual formation, and leaves room for elective courses in the multiple subject teaching credential coursework or the special education certificate coursework.
“Those taking the Early Childhood B.S. or B.A. in Early Childhood will be well-prepared to fill critical positions in the field in TK, K, and grades 1-2, which are the critical years for developing literacy,” said Hetzel.
Written by Joy Blea, media relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, assistant director of media relations and strategic communications, at email@example.com.